Bad Adobe Photoshop Elements installation experience

08Jan09

Can’t believe I wasted several hours over the last few days trying to install Adobe Photoshop Elements. Despite that fact that the splash screen for the trial version has a dialog for you to enter a serial number, you cannot actually activate a trial version with a purchased serial number. You must download the non-trial version from your Adobe “account” and use that installer to install a version that can be activated with your serial number.

The trial installer was still on my Desktop (after all, I had only downloaded it < 30 days ago) and I had been using that one to go through umpteen cycles of uninstall, delete all Adobe preferences, reinstall and get my serial number rejected before I noticed that I had another installer in my download folder with a slightly different name but which had a later creation date. After I used the second installer, the serial number was finally accepted !!

So for the record, the Trial installer file name was PSE_6.0_MAC_TB_WWEFGJ.dmg while the purchased version was called PSE_6.0_MAC_WWEFGJ.DMG. You must uninstall the trial (using the installer on the TB disk image) and then download the purchased installer using the Adobe Download Manager and install this version (i.e. the disk image without “TB” in its name).

Absolutely atrocious out-of-the-box customer experience. Aggravated by the online customer support agent who simply closed the case after telling me to call the 800 number for assistance.

I can’t understand why they have to have  different installers for the trial and full versions – they’re each 1.3 GB and take a long time to download. Or if they have to be different, at least remove the serial number dialog from the trial version so that we don’t waste time trying to activate a software which can never be activated and know that we have to download a different version.

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